Gallbladder cancer statistics

Gallbladder cancer is the 20th most common cancer in the world, with an estimated 178,100 new cases diagnosed in 2012.

Having gallstones is a cause of gallbladder cancer.  Inflammation associated with gallstones decreases the speed at which bile empties from the gallbladder.  Gallstones may also have a direct effect by blocking the transit of bile, or by causing direct mechanical irritation to the surrounding mucosal surface.

The Continuous Update Project Panel made the following judgement: there is strong evidence that greater body fatness is a cause of gallbladder cancer.

Preventability estimates using the findings from the Continuous Update Project show that about 21% of cases of gallbladder cancer in the US can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight.

The countries with the top 20 highest incidence of gallbladder cancer in 2012 are given in the tables below.

Both sexes

  • Chile has the highest rate of gallbladder cancer, followed by Bolivia and the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
  • About 65% of gallbladder cancer cases occur in less developed countries.
  • The highest incidence of gallbladder cancer is in South America and Asia, and the lowest incidence is in Africa.
Rank Country Age-standardised rate per 100,000 (World)
1 Chile 9.7 
2 Bolivia 8.1 
3 Korea, Republic of 6.5  
4 PDR Lao 4.8 
5 Japan 4.7 
6 Nepal 4.3  
7 Bangladesh 4.2
8 Czech Republic 4.1
9= Ecuador 4.0 
9= Peru 4.0
9= Slovakia 4.0
12 Slovenia 3.9
13= Argentina 3.3
13= Uruguay 3.3  
15 Croatia 3.1
16 Thailand 3.0
17= Poland 2.9
17= Hungary 2.9
17= Algeria 2.9 
20= China 2.8
20= Columbia 2.8
20= State of Palestine 2.8

Source: Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.1, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed on 21/04/2015.

Men

  • The Republic of Korea has the highest rate of gallbladder cancer, followed by PDR Lao and Chile.
  • About 64% of gallbladder cancer cases occur in less developed countries.
  • The highest incidence of gallbladder cancer is in Asia and South America, and the lowest incidence is in Africa.
Rank Country Age-standardised rate per 100,000 (World)
1 Korea, Republic of 7.8
2 PDR Lao 6.5
3 Chile 6.3
4 Japan 5.8
5 Bolivia 4.7
6 Timor-Leste 3.8
7 Thailand 3.7
8 Nepal 3.6
9 Slovenia 3.5
10= Czech Republic 3.4
10= Slovakia 3.4
12 Argentina 3.1
13 Portugal 3.0
14= Croatia 2.9
14= Uruguay 2.9
16= Hungary 2.7
16= China 2.7
16= Korea, Democratic People's Republic of 2.7
16= Fiji 2.7
20 Cambodia 2.6

Source: Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.1, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed on 21/04/2015.

Women

  • Chile has the highest rate of gallbladder cancer, followed by Bolivia and Bangladesh.
  • About 66% of gallbladder cancer cases occur in less developed countries.
  • The highest incidence of gallbladder cancer is in South America and Asia, and the lowest incidence is in Africa.
Rank Country Age-standardised rate per 100,000 (World)
1 Chile 12.8
2 Bolivia 10.9
3 Bangladesh 6.2
4 Ecuador 5.7
5 Peru 5.5
6 Korea, Republic of 5.4
7 Nepal 4.9
8 Czech Republic 4.7
9 Slovakia 4.4
10 Slovenia 4.3
11 State of Palestine 4.0
12 Algeria 3.9
13 Japan 3.7
14= Uruguay 3.6
14= Poland 3.6
14= Myanmar 3.6
14= Argentina 3.6
18 Colombia 3.5
19= Lao PDR 3.4
19= French Polynesia 3.4

 

Source: Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.1, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed on 21/04/2015.